Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rape- the rape never ends...

Recently there had been a furore in the newspapers over a Malayali med student in Manipal, who was raped while she was returning from the library to her home, at night. She was grabbed and bundled by 3 men into an auto...and returned to the hostel unfortunately not intact
The media made the requisite hoo and haa.  The alleged rapists were hunted down, and at the end, 2 of them attempted suicide, fearing consequences of their heinous act.

It seemed like justice would be finally meted out...
But then, in an anticlimax, the victim said that she did not want to press charges.

While I wish that the girl has all the support to enable her to come out and press charges against the accused, I understand the girl' s side too...
You never know how long the case will get dragged on...it could go on for years,  the whole unpleasant incident will have to be thrashed out all over again, each time she needs to go to court.
The barrage of questions from the cops, the court, the prosecution, can subject the girl to a virtual rape all over again...And you never know what tangent the questioners could go off on.
There is no guarantee that the victim and her family will be safe from other violent attacks against them, physical or otherwise, by the culprits' family/friends.
The poor girl can never put her horrendous past behind her.

I cannot talk for all the rape cases in the country. But at least 2 cases are not encouraging to say the least.

The Suryanelli girl is still where she was two decades ago.  A promising young life has been scarred irrevocably. A young girl's character has been dragged through slime, time and again, by all and sundry. Even after she's been given a govt. job, the tentacles of her past do not spare her. She's been subjected to continued dishonour and shame... and not just her, her family has to suffer along with her. A happy married life, a loving husband, children, grandchildren.. these are normal dreams, of ordinary girls.  But the Suryanelli girl will never have all those. She will forever be Suryanelli Girl.Interrupted.

More recently a courageous young mother decided to come out from the shell she'd been forced to cover under by an unforgiving public. The Park Street victim decided to discard the name her rape had christened her with. And to go back to being Suzette Jordan. To try and pick up the pieces of her life, and try to help others who've had their lives similarly wrecked. Its not easy to read her story, I can't imagine how much harder it must be to live her life. I wish Suzette a happy life.

I wonder how long it'll be before a rapist get his just dues. Till then, there will continue to be rapes. And till the time comes when rapists are brought to trial swiftly, efficiently and mercilessly, their victims will go on getting raped. In court rooms, in doctors' examining rooms, in the market place, in discotheques. . .
It is one thing to wish to change the legal system in India. But it is entirely another to behave humanely towards the victims. It is entirely upto us to stop  treating her as a museum piece. A not-so-attractive one at that.  And stop subjecting her life to curious stares and comments.

One hopes the Medical student ( and other girls like her) gets justice, but more than that, I hope the girls get to build their lives all over again. That they are able to bring their dreams to fruition. That they can continue to be the unsullied pride of their families. God willing....

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